Court adjourns N68m case against UCTH over COVID-19 isolation centre

The case between the Obi Achara & co and the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) over inability of the hospital to pay N68 million to the contractor who handled the construction of COVID-19 isolation centre for UCTH has been adjourned.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company, Mr Obi Achara, had dragged the hospital management to court over the debt matter.

The case, which is in the High Court 11 in Calabar before Hon. Justice Angela Obi, in Suit No: HC/316/2020, came up for hearing on Wednesday, but was adjourned to October 15, 2021.

The adjournment, it was learnt, was due to the inability of the counsel to UCTH, Dafe Diegbe, to serve the company’s lawyer his rejoinder to the applicant’s application.

In a chat with Journalists shortly after the case was adjourned, lead counsel to Obi Achara and Co, Barr Mba Ukweni (SAN), said, “The UCTH Counsel had filed a motion to have the case struck out.

“He had said the matter being filed was an abuse of court process since, according to him, the same matter is in another court. But this is not true because there is no other case regarding this matter in existence in any court in Nigeria except the one here in this court.

“He had commenced arguing his motion which we responded to when he now brought out a reaction to out own motion, that is a rejoinder on the part of law which he did not serve us.

“And, I look at it and said since the document us voluminous, I will need time to study it because there could be issues on the point of law to counter. That is why we adjourned.

“What the hospital Counsel did was to go and apply to release a matter that was struck out already. As we speak, there is no other pending matter in court over this issue.

“He cannot bring an application to release a matter that was struck out since last year and use it as basis to strike out this one that is currently running. In the eye of the law and as far as we are concerned, that matter he is trying to excavate does not exist.”